Discussion: The Application of Data to Problem-Solving
In the modern era, there are few professions that do not to some extent rely on data. Stockbrokers rely on market data to advise clients on financial matters. Meteorologists rely on weather data to forecast weather conditions, while realtors rely on data to advise on the purchase and sale of property. In these and other cases, data not only helps solve problems, but adds to the practitioner’s and the discipline’s body of knowledge.
Of course, the nursing profession also relies heavily on data. The field of nursing informatics aims to make sure nurses have access to the appropriate date to solve healthcare problems, make decisions in the interest of patients, and add to knowledge.
In this Discussion, you will consider a scenario that would benefit from access to data and how such access could facilitate both problem-solving and knowledge formation.
- Reflect on the concepts of informatics and knowledge work as presented in the Resources.
- Consider a hypothetical scenario based on your own healthcare practice or organization that would require or benefit from the access/collection and application of data. Your scenario may involve a patient, staff, or management problem or gap.
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post a description of the focus of your scenario. Describe the data that could be used and how the data might be collected and accessed. What knowledge might be derived from that data? How would a nurse leader use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge from this experience?
I agree that healthcare is another field that relies on data and statistical analysis in treatment, management, and preventative care. Currently I work in a Rehabilitation and Long Term Care Facility, we are currency performing COVID testing on all of our staff and employees based on the state average of positive COVID 19 cases. Currently in Arizona we are at 2.9% positivity rate based on the past 7 days (Ritchie et al., 2020). Whenever we reach above 5% we must test our staff weekly, and below 5% we must test monthly.
This method of testing concurrently uses the data to appropriately test whilst adding to the ongoing data collection and continuing the overall accuracy of this disease and disease process. This is important to see when and where the spikes occur in positivity, and mitigate for the staffing shortages that may occur in this instance.
Another term that people may be well accustomed to now is “contact tracing”.Contact tracing works to help slow the spread of diseases, for example COVID- 19. Contact tracing usually takes place in the community, like clinics, labs, schools and hospitals. Contact tracing works by sending the names and demographics of people diagnosed with COVID- 19 to the local health department. The health department then further explores who the infected person has been in contact with and anonymously notifies those individuals to seek testing and begin quarantine (Marshall, 2021).
A clinical leader would use contact tracing as a method of understanding the characteristics of the disease (Keeling, 2020). For example the demographics, geographical location, socioeconomic status, employment status and time of year in which those are contracting the illness. With this information you can plan to order more PPE, sticiter isolation and quarantine protocols, limit visitation time(s) within a facility and many more methods to mitigate the risks of infecting more people.
Hannah Ritchie, Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, Diana Beltekian, Edouard Mathieu, Joe Hasell, Bobbie Macdonald, Charlie Giattino, Cameron Appel, Lucas Rodés-Guirao and Max Roser (2020) – “Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)”. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: ‘https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus’ [Online Resource]
Keeling, M. J., Hollingsworth, T. D., & Read, J. M. (2020). Efficacy of contact tracing for the containment of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2020-214051
Marshall , W. F. (2021, May 18). Can contact tracing stop coronavirus? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/covid-19-contact-tracing/faq-20488330.
By Day 6 of Week 1
Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, asking questions to help clarify the scenario and application of data, or offering additional/alternative ideas for the application of nursing informatics principles.
Thank you for the informative post. I agree, Informatics is essential in healthcare, from electronic medical records (EMRs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) to big data. Informatics can improve outcomes for patients and assist healthcare professionals with continuity of care. In the past, the United States’ healthcare data has been utilized primarily for billing, internal organizational management, and regulatory reporting, and public health officials have primarily focused on data of communicable diseases and reportable events (Gamache Kharrazi, and Weiner, 2018). There are currently multiple attempts to integrate these data sources to improve outcomes for patients and communities. Most health organizations and facilities do government reporting on KPIs through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) that is managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (ODPHP, n.d). NHSN is the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection (HAI) tracking system that provides the country with data needed to identify problem areas and measures prevention efforts to eliminate HAIs (ODPHP, n.d) eventually. Over the next decade, the healthcare data will more than double. In 2015 an international survey was conducted and identified education, research, practice, visibility, and collaboration as the five key areas where healthcare informatics need to improve (Mordi, Guignard-Duff, Hall, New, and Lang, 2020). As patient data grows at an ever-increasing rate, we must remain mindful of potential liabilities related to HIPAA and the risk of a potential data breach (Sweeney, 2017). Healthcare informatics combined with the patient data received will help guide future treatment options and innovation.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP] (n.d). National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/data-sources-and-methods/data-sources/national-healthcare-safety-network-nhsn
Gamache, R., Kharrazi, H., & Weiner, J. P. (2018). Public and Population Health Informatics: The Bridging of Big Data to Benefit Communities. Yearbook of medical informatics, 27(1), 199–206. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1667081
Mordi, I. R., Guignard-Duff, M., Hall, C., New, B. J. M., & Lang, C. C. (2020). Use of Population-Based Health Informatics Research to Improve Care for Patients with
Cardiovascular Diseases. Diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 8(4). https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.3390/diseases8040047
I also work in the same type of setting and, at our facility in Minnesota, we are currently testing weekly based on cases in our county. Minnesota Department of Health is the guideline that nursing homes follow. As of April 30, 2021, fully vaccinated asymptomatic staff does not need testing as part of routine staff screening. However, MDH states that regardless of vaccination, employers have to test immediately. If the asymptomatic staff has high-risk exposure or symptomless resident has prolonged close contact with a positive person, testing occurs again on day 5-7 (COVID-19 Testing Recommendations for Long-term Care Facilities, 2021). Does your facility use information collected to benefit them in the future, or do they pass the data off to the state of Arizona? I do not think our facility utilizes statistical numbers for future reference, and I am unsure if they even share much with MDH.
I found a collaborative webinar series pdf with some great informatics resources searching for nursing informatics and the pandemic. Therefore, I am posting the link below for your review.
Page 52 of this document has several more helpful links from the CDC and the WHO, such as where to report, clean and disinfect the virus, cope with stress, self-care, and more. Some of the links do not work, but most do.
The pandemic will change how people collect information and utilize it; moreover, the future of health may move in increased telehealth making health care more affordable and accessible. Telehealth could benefit the increasing elderly population as fewer nursing homes and assisted living facilities have long waiting lists. I would like to see increased income potential for personal care attendants (PCAs) and home health aides (HHA) so people could remain in their own homes. Informatics could assist in this direction as the internet has expanded to reach remote areas, more people know how to use computers, iPads, and cellphones. McGonigle & Garver Mastrian say the future of health care will be dependent on the use of clinical documentation systems and clinical decision support (p. 123, 2018).
I dream of a health care field that shares information of the patient, without jeopardizing HIPAA, in a faster and more thorough way so that collaboration and communication between multiple providers alleviate duplication of medicines and cohesiveness of customer care. Unfortunately, things get missed and fall through the cracks in health care due to lack of time, communication, follow-through, shift change, or multiple caregivers.
Best wishes for the rest of the semester,
COVID-19 Testing Recommendations for Long-term Care Facilities. (2021, April 30). Retrieved 2021, from MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/ltctestrec.pdf
McGonigle, D., & Garver Mastrian, K. (2018). Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge (Fourth ed.). Burlington, Maine: Jones & Bartlett Learning. Retrieved 2021
Nursing Informatics in Times of COVID-19: Achievements, Challenges, and New Ideas. (2020, April 14). Retrieved 2021, from American Medical Informatics Association: https://www.amia.org/sites/default/files/AMIA-COVID19-Webinar-Series-NIWG-ANI-Clinical-Informatics-3.pdf